Editorial: Ten years of limbo. DACA recipients need permanent relief now
The Trump administration is in the process of deporting hundreds of young adult immigrants, including more than 800 who were brought to the country as children by their parents.
The government is so far going nowhere. It can’t afford it. It has nothing but a long, long way to go. And yet, this administration – and the Trump presidency – are already looking at ways to make this deportation process even more punitive and destructive, in ways that have been proven to further destabilize immigrant communities and cause irreparable harm to people who have already suffered so much.
This administration has shown us what happens when we allow our immigration and refugee systems to become punitive and oppressive – in the service of an agenda that’s built on fear and prejudice. From family separations to the mass deportation that’s currently underway, immigrant communities have borne the brunt of the Trump administration’s attacks.
This is not the first time the Trump administration has tried its hand at deporting a large number of young adults who are seeking to make their lives here in the United States. In the 1990s, when many were being brought to the country as children by their parents, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it was planning to deport up to 1.7 million young adults who had been brought to the country as children by their parents. As part of that effort, DHS published a new document it called a “Guidelines for Comprehensive Border Protection,” urging the Department of Justice to file a declarative statement and a lawsuit against the government, calling for a preliminary injunction that would prohibit the government from carrying out the deportation plan.
While those documents were pending, however, DHS filed an amended removal action with USCIS, which began deporting individuals, and the Department of Justice and other public officials filed a lawsuit claiming the “guidelines” were illegal.
The government then asked the Supreme Court to step in and settle the dispute. In June 2000, the justices ruled unanimously that the government’s attempt to deport young adults who had been brought to the country as children by their parents in the 1990s was unconstitutional. The court noted that the government’s new approach would result in “a massive, unprecedented and random intrusion upon the family unit” in a way that violated the young people’s “